Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Cloud of Privacy

We've all been talking about the possibility of hard drives becoming obsolete and that storage will be in the Internet cloud for the near future. We've got sites like megaupload, dropbox, torrents, and the like to make file storage or file sharing easier and without the use of a tangible drive. The prospect becomes exciting but then you suddenly think about the costs of this technology.

Sites won't just let you store your data for free. It would allow you maybe 1 GB free memory and then you'll have to use your credit card of PayPal to get a bigger memory. There are sites which could also track what you store or do with your computer. You will also have to be constantly connected to the Internet so you'll have to be patient for uploading and downloading to finish if you're connection isn't that fast. There is also a possibility that the whole system could shut down and take over the world like Skynet. Oh, wait that's "fiction."

Internet usage will increase dramatically and so will the use of sites for your private transactions and social media penchants. I wrote a while ago about privacy and the internet but then this news story from NY Times and it just seems so timely to talk about the development.

Our use of technology will always come with costs and benefits but I think we all know that if the benefits outweigh the costs, we will keep on using that product. However, we humans are also fans of the "use it now think about the consequences later" attitude. It is a reality that our history can be searched and used against us when we apply for jobs. Granted, this website is in the U.S. but it won't be long until this is applied in the Philippines.

Our privacy laws do not necessarily extend to the virtual world and this creates a huge gap between law and reality. There are no prominent watch groups or lobbyists to help the virtual community to protect themselves when it comes to using the Internet. There will come a time when it becomes real that we will be in fear of our activities being used against us even if they are innocuous in nature. Privacy is a huge cloud in the Internet and not black and white. It will take serious policy work in our country just to notice that this is actually a problem.

Abigail Alameda Entry #5

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